Creative Problem Solving: Habits That Need Changing
MANY MANAGERS ARE UNAWARE OF THE IMPACT THEY have on the creativity of their departments. Certain managerial habits that are productive at other times can stifle employee problem solving and create a work environment in which workers feel uncomfortable about offering their ideas for consideration. Fortunately, these habits can be changed. New behavior patterns that stimulate creative thinking can be substituted for the six identified here. The Quick Fix, the Stifler, the Gauntlet, the Timer, the Controller, and the Distractor are all labels describing habits of managers that have one over-riding fault in common: They can impair the creativity of employees. Are you guilty of practicing these? To find out, let's look more closely at them.
Avoid the Quick Fix
The Quick Fix happens when you and others settle on the first adequate solution to a problem you are discussing and thereby deny your creative ability to find a better solution. The danger of this habit is that it enables the mind to cling to old perspectives that were successful during previous problem solving.
Getting out of the Quick Fix is easier said than done. But one way is to set a quota of five to ten new and different ideas before choosing a solution. Another way is to list ideas non-evaluatively in a three-minute mini-brainstorming session before proceeding further.
Another unfortunate habit associated with the Quick Fix is …